Sketchbook Number Sixty – 17 July 2011 to 4 February 2012

Cover of Sketchbook No. 60, about 8.5"x11", 224 pages, 2011-2012

Yes – I’ve reached the end of book number sixty! I think it’s a relatively good one. Somehow I think I’ve been sketching from observation a bit more than in the past – doing a fairly good number of streetscapes (probably since my trip to San Francisco almost a year ago.) Click on any of the images for larger version.

First page of Sketchbook No. 60, India ink and watercolor on paper

The book has its flaws… including this error on the very first page. I try to do something good on the first few pages usually, so I can show things off. I thought it would be fun to do a sort of Spanglishy title on the first page – I meant to letter “esquetch” but wrote “esqueth” instead. I work in pen usually… so I just crossed it out and started over.

Sketch of I See Hawks in L.A., 17 August 2011, about 11"x17" in sketchbook

This sketch is of a band, called I See Hawks in L.A., performing at Grand Performances at Cal Plaza. I scanned this one early on, luckily, because, since drawing this, my sketchbook has gotten wet three times… resulting in bumpy pages and a little discoloration. The biggest wetness problem was when I took a kayak ride on the L.A. River in September. I put the book in a waterproof bag… which had a small hole in it. All this to say that the following scans don’t look just right because the paper they’re on it a little bumpy.  (Though I feel like a lot of my art scans are imperfect, without the bumpiness excuse, these are just a little worse than usual.) I actually like to draw on poorer materials – somehow it’s less pressure to do something perfect – more license to play and experiment.

sketch of man in jacket, about 8.5x11, ink on paper in sketchbook

This is just an invention, made up from my head – sort of punk trappings built around an all-too-generic profile that I often start with.

Sketch of historic house in Tustin, ink on paper in sketchbook, 28 October 2011, about 11"x17"

I really like this one – a drawing of what I now know is called the Sherman Stevens home, built in 1887. Follow the link for a good historic photo, from nearly the same angle. It’s a former residence, now adaptively reused as an office park. The address is 228 Main Street, Tustin. It’s on the south side of Main Street across from Tustin Presbyterian Church and Rutabegorz (two of my Tustin landmarks, from when I grew up there.)  The sketch is almost as much a tree study as an architectural portrait. There’s a lot of trees, some bare of leaves, some full, so there were a lot of different tree characters/textures. Looking at it in retrospect, Sketchbook No. 60 has a lot of trees (not all posted online), some just studies of trees, and a lot of trees in the background in my Occupy L.A. drawings.

Sketch of Occupy L.A., ink on paper in sketchbook, 17 November 2011, about 11"x17"

Speaking of Occupy L.A., I’ve already posted quite a few of my Occupy sketches from Sketchbook No. 60, but the above is one that I like that I didn’t scan and post earlier. See plenty more Occupy L.A. sketches under the tag Occupy L.A. – and read my explanations there.

sketch of man with upraised hands, ink on paper in sketchbook, November 2011, about 8.5"x11"

I like the sort of stylistic experimentation on this one – sort of like lettering styles.

sketch of annals of shading, ink on paper in sketchbook, December 2011, about 8.5"x11"

I read comic books (and occasionally blog about comics at Periodic Fable), and though I haven’t drawn much in the way of actual sequential storytelling comics, I definitely use some of the visual styles from comics. This sketch is sort of tooling around with a comic book cover and playing around with various ways of shading.

sketch of drawing on the bus, ink on paper in sketchbook, 2011-12, about 8.5"x11"

Another comic-book cover – sort of an assembly of a half-dozen sketches all done on the bus. I draw often on the bus and on the train… but I don’t usually try to assemble it like this image. I think it’s good practice to do quick sketches on public transit, because it’s difficult to really control one’s lines on the bus, because it’s not holding still… and because the person you’re drawing may get up and leave at any moment.

A few other sketchbook No. 60 drawing posted elsewhere already:

There’s plenty of my earlier sketchbook stuff posted here.


2 responses to “Sketchbook Number Sixty – 17 July 2011 to 4 February 2012

  1. Joe, you are amazing! I will visit your work in a museum some day.

  2. Thanks for this. I ride Metro every day, Hollywood, the Valley, Pasadena. It’s a comfortable and safe way for an old guy to get around. But also, it’s a place to relax and observe. I could never imagine faces and figures of such variety and character. Wish I had a fraction of your talent, but I content myself with just noticing details of the passing parade. (which we are all a part of)

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